Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries, 2014

Every year, the Library Research Service’s Public Library Annual Report surveys Colorado public libraries about challenges to their materials or services. The libraries that report receiving one or more challenges are then asked to provide additional information. This Fast Facts addresses the number, nature, and outcome of the challenges reported in 2014. Note: One library did not provide data about audience, resolution, and reason for its computer challenges.


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Summer Reading Makes a Difference for Colorado Families

Each year, Colorado public libraries offer engaging summer reading programs to encourage children and teens to read for fun and to prevent summer learning loss. In summer 2014, the Colorado State Library invited Colorado public libraries to ask parents in their communities to help evaluate the effectiveness of these programs by completing a survey. Sixteen libraries chose to participate, and 672 parents/caregivers completed the survey. About half of all respondents reported that their children’s enjoyment of reading, reading skills, and reading by choice increased after participating in summer reading. These outcomes were even more prevalent among families participating in summer reading for the first time and parents of children ages 4-6. Here we break down these numbers and share in parents’ own words the difference summer reading made for their families.


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2014: A Banner Year for Library Jobline

Library jobs have officially recovered from the Great Recession, according to LRS’s popular library job posting website, In 2014, 615 jobs were posted—the most ever since the service’s launch in 2007—and more than twice that of 2009’s 228 jobs, a site low. We also saw the highest average starting wages for positions preferring the MLIS ($24.45 per hour) and requiring the MLIS ($25.31 per hour). Read on to learn more about how the rest of 2014 shaped up.


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One Book 4 Colorado 2014: Creating a Culture of Literacy

Founded in 2012, One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) is a statewide annual initiative that offers free copies of the same book to every 4-year-old in Colorado. In 2014, the book was Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. More than 75,000 books were given away at more than 500 sites, including public libraries, Reach Out and Read Health Clinics,1 and Denver Preschool Program preschool classrooms.2 Here we present survey results from caregivers and participating agencies to find out how the program went in 2014. Learn more about OB4CO at

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State Grants to Libraries: First Look at 2013-14

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A Year of Library Jobline: 2013 Edition

2013 Jobline_draft 3

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Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries, 2013


Colorado’s Public Computer Centers: Bridging Colorado’s Great Digital Divide

This Fast Facts presents data summarizing equipment installation, digital literacy efforts, and computer use in Colorado during the two-year Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant project, from April 2011 to March 2013. For more insight into the project, visit and read previous Fast Facts covering class participant satisfaction survey results and workforce efforts and partnerships, as well as an outcome evaluation report.

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Computers in Colorado’s Public Libraries

Colorado’s 115 public library jurisdictions provide their communities with access to technology and web
services. From wireless connectivity to always-accessible databases, public libraries are humming with
21st-century tools. Highlights from the 2012 Public Library Annual Report offer the details:

Technology Services Available Inside the Library

PDF version of this infographic.

Trends in Colorado Public Library Websites and Social Media Use

In 2008, the Library Research Service launched the biennial study, U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, with the intent to document the use of various web technologies on the websites of public libraries throughout the nation. From its inception, it was conceived as a longitudinal study, with plans to revisit the sample libraries every two years to track changes in libraries’ uses of web technologies. The study is conducted as a content analysis: researchers analyze a random sample, stratified based on legal service area (LSA) population, of public library websites throughout the United States (584 in 2012), as well as the websites of all public libraries in Colorado (114—9 of which are in the national sample). The results of the 2008 study set a baseline for the adoption of web technologies nationwide. The study was repeated in 2010 and 2012, and these iterations expanded upon the 2008 findings by tracking the trends in U.S. public libraries’ use of web technologies over time as well as by examining new technologies as they emerged. Highlights from the Colorado portion of the 2012 study are presented below, in both graphical and text format:


In 2012, 9 in 10 Colorado public libraries had websites, including:

  • all of those serving LSA populations of 100,000+ and 10,000-24,999;
  • 93 percent of those with LSA populations of 25,000-99,999; and,
  • more than 4 in 5 (85%) of those serving LSA populations less than 10,000 (up from 79% in 2010).

Over time, Colorado public library websites were analyzed for the presence of several web features that enable interactivity with users (for example, virtual reference, blogs, etc.). Some notable findings included:

  • Technologies that increased from 2010 to 2012 included: online library card sign up (9% to 17%), online account access (75% to 80%), email newsletter (18% to 27%), AddThis/ShareThis interface (18% to 24%), chat reference (59% to 67%), and text reference (1% to 4%).
  • Technologies that decreased included blogs (21% to 15%) and email reference (25% to 22%).
  • However, these trends varied depending on the library’s LSA population. The smallest libraries increased their adoption of many of the web technologies, with the exceptions of blogs (12% to 5%), AddThis/ShareThis interface (15% to 11%), and email reference (13% to 5%). The largest libraries decreased their use of online account access (100% to 92%), non-blog RSS feeds (67% to 58%), and chat reference (100% to 75%), while showing the biggest gains in online library card sign up (33% to 67%),  AddThis/ShareThis interface (33% to 75%), and text reference (0% to 25%).

A little more than half (53%) of Colorado public libraries had social media accounts:

  • Almost all (92%) of the largest libraries, close to three-fourths (71%) of libraries serving between 25,000 and 99,999, more than half (57%) of those serving 10,000 to 24,999, and 40 percent of the smallest libraries had at least one social media account.
  • Of the 9 social networks that were analyzed, libraries were most likely to be on Facebook (51%). From 2010 to 2012, libraries serving 25,000-99,999 had the biggest jump in adoption of this social network, from 36 percent to 71 percent.
  • About 1 in 5 (21%) Colorado public libraries were on Twitter and 1 in 10 were on YouTube or Flickr. However, Flickr decreased in all population groups; for example, 36 percent of libraries serving 25,000-99,999 used this social network in 2010 versus 14 percent in 2012.
  • One-fourth of the largest libraries were on Pinterest, 17 percent each were on Foursquare and Vimeo, and 8 percent were on Tumblr.
  • The largest libraries were on an average of 3.50 social networks out of the 9 included in the analysis, whereas the smallest libraries averaged less than 1.

Since 2010, the number of Colorado libraries that catered to mobile devices has increased dramatically, from 3 percent to 36 percent:

  • More than 9 in 10 (92%) of the largest libraries, 71 percent of libraries serving between 25,000 and 99,999, nearly half (48%) of libraries serving between 10,000 and 24,999, and 15 percent of the smallest libraries offered some type of mobile-friendly website access.

In terms of the specific type of mobile access,

  • About one-fourth (26%) of Colorado public libraries offered mobile applications (apps);
  • 1 in 5 libraries had mobile versions of their sites (i.e., the URL redirects to a mobile version of the website when viewed on a mobile device); however,
  • just 3 libraries used responsive design.

Related information:


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LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs. We partner with the Library and Information Science program at University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to provide research fellowships to current MLIS students.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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